Sally clears the air, proving there's only one Rayburn matriarch

By Justin Kirkland
May 27, 2017 at 04:00 PM EDT
Rod Millington/Netflix
S3 E7
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The final episodes of Bloodline are winding down, and Eric O’Bannon, well… Eric’s kind of been sitting in this place since the show started. Even when the finger should be pointed elsewhere, it seems to find a home directly pointed at him. But this time, it appears the Rayburn family may have too many holes in their plan to avoid being caught, even with O’Bannon as the ultimate scapegoat. We’ve taken a break from the trial, though, and for now, we’re back with Meg, who’s flashing back to someone trying to break in to the inn when she was a child.

And Meg is having quite a day because that deposition that Chelsea was giving was all about our girl, Meg. She explains that Meg has a history of being violent, and she was at the scene of the crime the night Marco died, and she’s recently taken off. Honestly, those facts don’t look great for Meg. As much as John wants to fight it, he can’t if Meg isn’t there to do it. Speaking of unsettling situations, Ozzy has gone to visit Sally in the middle of the night, and he calls her out for something being wrong. He tells Sally to go to a priest, but she doesn’t need Ozzy to tell her that everything is wrong in her life.

Elsewhere in the world, Meg has decided it’s time to get a tattoo. This Rayburn clan… they’re a strange bunch. But when a deposition shifts the possible focus of a murder investigation from an innocent man to you, what else do you do? At least she’s handling it better than Kevin, who, you know… actually killed Marco. He can’t deal with that tooth pain, and his world is just spiraling. To round out the whereabouts of the Rayburn kids, John has returned to see Sally so he can squat there for a couple of days. As a mother, she welcomes him back in, but it doesn’t take long until they come to their wits’ end about Meg and her disappearance. Sally just wants to talk about her metaphorical funeral and the tiger lilies at it (same ones Marco brought up!), but John needs to know about Meg, guys.

As Kevin comes into the courtroom, journalists bombard him and Belle with important journalism questions like, “DO YOU HATE ERIC O’BANNON?” Kevin doesn’t answer, but knowing him, if he did, he’d probably say, “No way, because he’s the one who’s going to help me get away with this murder.” But when Kevin takes the stand, he gives a pretty flimsy testimony. And when the defense attorney gets ahold of Kevin, she lays in pretty hard on his phone records and how adamant the Rayburns are about calling each other when tragedy happens. The family that kills together better also have a good family cell phone plan. Even the defense picks up on that, and that’s when she leans in real hard on Sarah’s death and how Robert Rayburn actually beat Danny after the fact by saying he got hit by a truck. In short, this trial is opening up quite the pot of Rayburn lies, and it’s making any Rayburn on that stand look less and less reliable.

This scene and testimony… it’s a bit of a puzzle falling into place for Bloodline. The past three years have been about weaving a complex portrait of this family, and now that family portrait is being slowly ripped apart. And the fabric goes deeper than just having the Rayburn name. As we’ve seen from John’s wife and now Kevin’s, being a Rayburn doesn’t make you a Rayburn. Hell, blood didn’t even really work for Danny. Belle calls out Kevin for lying on the stand, but he says it was necessary and doesn’t give her much else. In keeping with the sibling ties, John goes on the lookout for Meg and finds her at a rowdy party. She’s going by Amy and presents herself as a woman who grew up “parentless.” Of course, you can see John’s face fall as he hears it.

After the trial, Sally is on her last leg, which is all too evident when she starts having conversations with her dead mother on the porch. And the defense tells Chelsea she should prepare to testify. Nolan offers to testify as well because he’s a Rayburn, and getting mixed up in the insanity comes with the territory. The prosecution tells Sally that she may need to take the stand to do some course correction on that Meg situation, and God knows it needs some correcting, considering that Meg is a party girl without parents these days. She’s working on the assumption that if they can’t find her, they can’t force her to testify. And in a way, you can’t blame her. She’s the one Rayburn kid who hasn’t offed someone yet, which is a big deal in this family-turned-mafia.
(Recap continues on page 2)

Hey, let’s go back to Chelsea and those pills. Apparently, it was Percocet, and she only took them once, but stealing Percocet once is a good enough reason to call her in and extinguish that nursing job she has. But Chelsea isn’t the only one who needs pills because as Sally is cleaning Meg’s house, Sally’s mom appears again, smoking a cigarette and looking for gin, which feels a lot like what my 1960s ghost might do in the future.

Outside the Keys, Meg is still being kept awake from that childhood nightmare when someone nearly broke into the Rayburn place, and you know that she needs her sleep these days. More on that in a bit. She’s interrupted by her friend, telling her that “her friend” was in his car crying, so Meg goes to chase down John and see what’s going on. He was going to leave before saying goodbye to Meg because this whole family is too far gone. Meg finally reveals her break-in dream to John, and she says she feels like she’s crazy, but John tells her that Kevin has had the same dream. After a little more time, Meg asks John if it would help if she came home, and it looks like this might be enough to bring her home.

Back in the Keys, Belle has taken Diana to lunch to have a little “We’re Rayburns, Too!” chat about John and Kevin. Belle tells Diana that she thinks the whole family is lying, and you know what, good for Belle. Way to pay attention, girl. But the last thing the Rayburns are thinking of right now are wives with inclinations. Sally continues talking to her nonexistent mother, and John catches her. He breaks the news that even after his conversation with Meg, she’s not coming home. To that, Sally agrees that she’s going to take the stand because “it’s time to clear the air.”

When she takes the stand, Sally really goes for it, admitting that she left her husband after some troubles. That’s when Sarah died, and by the time she made it back to her family, Danny was in the hospital. That’s when she admits that Danny was beaten. She goes on to admit that she knew what it was like to have a father go to jail, so she made the decision to cover up Robert’s mistake. The prosecutor keeps asking for a recess, but Sally isn’t done. Sally confesses that she chose her husband over her son the day Sarah died, and that she ultimately made a mistake. This is Sissy Spacek offering us her A-game, and it’s honestly incredible television.

As the defense jumps to Sally’s testimony, Sally reveals that she doesn’t know where Meg is, but she has heard from her. That’s when the defense takes Sally’s confessions and the defense’s theories and runs with them, suggesting that all three of her kids are lying. But Sally says that Meg couldn’t have murdered Marco because she was with Sally all night. It’s a beautiful play because it shows that even the most put-together matriarch can truly lead the charge on a well-woven lie, and it was by admitting to enough lies and throwing her children under the bus that she was able to protect her family. And it leaves Eric saying, “F— you. F— you all.”

It sends Eric into a fit, and Chelsea is left to do damage control on Eric’s emotions. And the defense attorney can’t call Chelsea to the stand because she took that single Percocet. A single Percocet, guys… that’s what could put Eric O’Bannon behind bars for 30 years. Eric says, “I don’t want to die,” and Chelsea leaves the room because it all becomes too much. Back at their house, Sally starts showing just how much of a backbone she has. A lot of those stories she told on the stand? Those weren’t even true. Somehow Sally is as heartless as, if not more heartless than, her crazy children. As the night comes to an end, even Roy congratulates Sally on her achievements, but he tells her that she can’t just take this back once it’s done. That’s when she says, “It’s time. I thought you might know someone.” More on that in a bit.

As the episode ends, we see that break-in dream one more time, but this time, it’s John on the receiving end. This dream… it’s a family tradition. John wakes up and texts Meg, “Trial’s over. Hide better.” She walks inside and locks her door, in a way she couldn’t do in her dream, proving that everything is much safer outside the Rayburn house.

Netflix’s family drama features Sissy Spacek, Kyle Chandler, Sam Shephard and the list just keeps going.
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